If you’ve ever had a view on what should – or shouldn’t – be included in the Australian Curriculum, now is the time to have your say.

One of the biggest items on the national education agenda in 2021 is a review of the Australian Curriculum – a document that sets out the the core knowledge and skills to be taught to students from Foundation to Year 10 – wherever they live in Australia.

The initial review process, led by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and involving hundreds of teachers, curriculum experts and academics across Australia – is now open for ten weeks of public feedback.

A dedicated public feedback website was launched on April 29 and the head of ACARA is encouraging “as many parents as possible” to get involved in the process, which will remain open to submissions until July 8, 2021.

The updated version of the Australian Curriculum, once approved by education ministers, will be made available at the start of 2022.

A re-cap on the review

In mid-2020, Australia’s Education Ministers asked ACARA to refine, update and declutter the curriculum.

The review intends to produce a document that “focusses on the essential knowledge and skills students should learn and is clearer for teachers on what they need to teach”.

The initial review process has produced a series of proposed revisions and it is these revisions that the public – and in particular parents – are being asked to consider.

In a public address in February, ACARA’s CEO David de Carvalho said ACARA was hoping to unveil a pared back and re-shaped curriculum that was well-organised and clear. He also said it was hoped that teachers would “find joy” when they see it.

The official review website says submitted responses from the public “will help ensure the Australian Curriculum continues to remain world-class and meets the needs of students”.

Parents more empowered post-COVID to have their say

Mr de Carvalho said ACARA had undertaken research with parent focus groups and it showed the pandemic had given parents “new perspectives” on their children’s education.

“While experiences differed from school to school and family to family, the experiences of remote learning gave many parents a unique (and often frustrating) insight into the mechanics of schooling and education, with many finding a new appreciation for teachers and their skills and taking a greater interest in the curriculum and how their children’s progress is measured,” Mr de Carvalho said in February.

“Parents reported that pre-COVID, they generally relied on the information they got from conversations with teachers to determine how their child is progressing, but as a result of the pandemic, some parents now feel more empowered to bring their own observations of their child to those conversations.”

He said he expected parents’ “first-hand, up close” experience with the schooling system during 2020 would result in a greater level of parent interest in this year’s NAPLAN results, and hopefully involvement in the Curriculum review.

“We look forward to hearing views to help us improve the curriculum and ensure it is serving our children and young people, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to live fulfilling lives and to shape the future of Australia.”

Find out More

Visit the Australian Curriculum Review’s official website.

You can find a link to the survey on the curriculum specific
page or alternatively in the bottom banner of the website.

The review website also contains FAQs about the review and consultation process, video resources and information sheets.

You can also send comments or questions about the Australian Curriculum Review to engagement@acara.edu.au